Update [2nd April]: original story updated for context.
In case you weren’t aware of the date, yesterday was April Fool’s day. Hence the news of the postponement below was just part of a ruse in good spirit by Mr Hasnul himself. Fret not, friends. Level Up 2020 is going to happen albeit a slightly modified approach.
Following a brief chat with him and his MDEC team led by Mohan Low earlier today, we now have more info on the status of Malaysia’s largest games show for 2020. As clarified by Mohan, the organizers of Level Up KL are in the midst of preparing several contingencies for the event which is targeted for October. The most likely which involves running the entire event online with news conferences and seminars delivered directly to your computer screen.
Through a short quip which should give every person involved in the games development and publishing business in Malaysia, as well as video games fans in general a huge sigh of relief, Hasnul assured that “By hook or by crook, Level Up 2020 is happening”.
While October is still a long way to go, plans are already underway for smaller-scaled digital events aimed at stimulating the industry within the next two to three months. More details on this will be revealed soon according to MDEC.
After several editions where Level Up KL was run more of a business-to-business, industry-centric games show, Level Up KL 2019 opened itself up to the public, allowing the masses to visit exhibition booths to test out the games, as well as meet with the games developers and publishers in the flesh. Going into 2020, MDEC’s idea was to refine on what was presented in 2019, while pouring more focus on other facets of gaming – esports for example.
The COVID-19 pandemic threw a spanner into the works but the MDEC team is confident in presenting a meaningful experience regardless of the potential change in presentation. With the future of several games shows globally hang in the balance due to the ongoing pandemic, including the cancellation of E3 2020, MDEC’s decision to adapt rather than outright cancel the event is a very commendable one.
In line with MDEC’s aim of making Malaysia THE hub of games development in the region, successfully organizing an online games show at such scale would do wonders in showcasing the capability, talent and infrastructure Malaysia has to offer.
Level Up KL is one of the largest annual gaming conferences not only in Malaysia but also across Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, Level Up KL 2020 has been postponed to 2021.
The news was confirmed via the official Facebook account for Level Up KL and MDEC Digital Creative Content Division Vice President Hasnul Hadi Samsudin’s personal Facebook account.
Level Up KL traditionally took place near the end of the year. For instance, Level Up KL 2019 took place in November 2019. Last year’s iteration saw the event going public for the first time, where local developers could exhibit their upcoming games. These titles include Passion Republic’s Gigabash, Streamline Studios’ Bake N’ Switch, and more.
Level Up KL 2019 was also when we learnt that Sony Interactive Entertainment and Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios opened branches in Malaysia, effectively bolstering the local games industry even further.
For all of Kakuchopurei’s coverage on Level Up KL 2019, head on over to this page. To that end, we leave you with our exclusive interviews with Larian Studios CEO Swen Vincke, Re:Legend developer Magnus Game Studios co-founder DC Gan, and Video Games Live founder Shota Nakama below.